Spider-Man (12A)

Review by Dean Allen

SHATTERING Box Office records across the world, the film version of the much-loved comic book hero achieved far more than anyone was expecting.

Star Wars had dominated media coverage as film of the summer, only for Spider-Man to appear a few weeks earlier and astound everyone. And whereas Star Wars Attack of the Clones' faults may be somewhat enlarged by its move to the home market, Spider-Man, conversely, benefits from its small screen move.

As good as the set-pieces are, it is the story of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), his new found responsibilities, and his relationship with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) that are what Spider-Man is about. Viewing the film from the comfort of your own home gives more room for the more intimate moments and relationships space to breath.

The first hour is a delight, with Peter discovering his new powers and trying to earn a little money to impress the girl next door. It's the comic book origin story that is so often forgotten in other films for the sake of action and is what will make you keep coming back time and again.

DVD Extras:
Two commentaries; pop up video facts; branching web-i-sodes; 3 music videos; trailers; HBO making of; E! Special; director and composer profile; screen tests; gag/outtake reel; conceptual art; the mythology of the 21st century; comic archives; and more.

Divided between the film and the comic book, there is more than enough extra goodies for a few days of viewing. The commentaries are sadly quite lacking (especially for those who have heard Raimi's quip-heavy Evil Dead commentaries), though Raimi does try and sell his car halfway through!

Surprisingly fluff-free are the HBO and E! behind the scenes specials. Outtakes and gags are briefly amusing, while the pop-up information and web-i-sodes (very much like the 'follow the white rabbit' option on The Matrix disc) are good, but an opportunity to watch them without going through the film would have been far more beneficial.

The comic book section has an excellent documentary on the history of Spider-Man: the comic book, with plenty of talking heads from those big in the comic book world (apparently). With further DVD-Rom features about the comic, and the chance to record your own commentary, the Spider-Man disc is overflowing with great features. Only a more comprehensive documentary and deleted scenes would have turned this disc to greatness.

RELATED LINKS: Click here to buy Spider-Man on DVD...
Click here for the official Spider-Man website...

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